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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 21, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Obama won’t prosecute interrogators

Have we no shame?

The recent release of the torture memos by the Obama administration leaves no doubt that abdominal torture practices were perpetrated under the Bush administration with instigation at the very top. Obama would now like us to forget about this dark chapter in our history, declining to hold anyone criminally responsible [“Obama won’t prosecute CIA interrogators,” page one, April 17].

I suppose the Nazis would have been equally lenient with their own malefactors if they had been asked to judge themselves. The German successor state, however, had no qualms about hauling their own nationals into court for war crimes committed in its nation’s name.

Can we do less? Is there no shame in America?

— Douglas Schiebel, Port Ludlow

No one is above the law

The war-crimes tribunal at the end of the Second World War declared that obeying orders was no excuse for committing war crimes by individual Nazis, no matter how low their rank.

I believe that the current administration’s failing to prosecute those who followed guidelines in administering torture is in violation of those principles and that decision greatly disappoints me. It just seems to show that whoever is in power gets to make the rules.

If we are to hold our heads high in the world, we must prosecute both those who gave the orders and those who carried them out. No one should be above the law.

— Jerry Matchett, Edmonds

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Politics

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